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Old 20th March 2008, 03:09 PM   #1
copywriter
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Default I Took The Leap!

OK, OK... so I'm a little late, but you know what they say

I finally started my own blog and am trying to get everything situated. I've read tons of posts in the blogging forum that were very helpful, but I still have a few questions.

1) How do I create an RSS feed and allow others to subscribe to my blog?

2) Where do you get the links/icons to Digg, Sphinn, etc. to put on your blog so others can vote for your posts?

I think that's all for now, but I'm sure I'll have others as I make my way through the process.

Thanks!

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Old 20th March 2008, 04:09 PM   #2
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Looks like you're running Wordpress. AFAIK, it creates the RSS feed automatically, so there's nothing special you need to do get RSS going. That said, you may want to check in to Feedburner. If you sign up and route your feed through them, you can get all sorts of interesting stats related to your RSS feed subscribers. Another neat feature is they offer a way for people to subscribe to your feed via email (for those who don't want to "do" RSS with a feed reader). And the best part is, it's all free.

As to how to get people to subscribe, you'll need to add a subscribe link (with the standard orange RSS logo if you want people to notice it) somewhere, maybe in your sidebar.

If you're comfortable mucking about with the code, or there's something in your theme that just hasn't been activated that would handle this, or you've got somebody there who can help you out with coding stuff, you should be okay. Otherwise, let me know and I can try to assist. I've had a bit of experience with WordPress.

Since you're running Wordpress, probably the easiest thing to get those "social bookmarking" icons is to install a plugin. ShareThis is one I've used and been happy with. It puts a single "Share this" icon at the bottom of your posts. When users click on it, it opens a small window to allow them to select which services they'd like to submit/vote for your site.

Another one I've been looking at, seen used in some places, but for some reason haven't yet implemented anywhere is Sociable. It will put one of those rows of miniature social bookmarking site icons across the bottom of your post.

HTH!

--Torka

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Old 21st March 2008, 09:39 PM   #3
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Congrats, Karon -- I'll be a subscriber for sure.

Diane's advice is spot on. I see you're signed up for Feedburner, so good job there. But you don't need to put your own RSS feed in your blog's sidebar. It's redundant to the content of the blog itself. Instead of putting the actual feed, put a nice-looking RSS subscribe button at the top of that right sidebar to encourage more feed subscriptions. You can go to feedicons.com for a variety of sizes/colors. Just have the icon link to your feed URL and you'll be all set -- no need to show the feed itself.

I prefer Sociable, which Diane linked to above. It's easy to use, and the plugin is now being updated regularly as new social sites become popular so you can just update the plugin once in a while and then update the sites you want appearing at the bottom of each post.

If you have other questions about blogging, you might want to read through the Blogs & Blogging category nominees at semmys.org -- lots of great material there.

Good luck!

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Old 24th March 2008, 02:32 PM   #4
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Thanks guys! I appreciate it. Will look into those sites, Diane.

Matt, changed the RSS stuff. Thanks for pointing that out.

Onward and upward!

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Old 24th March 2008, 07:26 PM   #5
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Cheers - great posts! Keep at it

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Old 25th March 2008, 07:07 AM   #6
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Good luck Karen!!

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